John Palmer

Anchor, Retirement Living Television

John Palmer was named the first life-time member of the College of Charleston Advisory Council. In honor of his incredible dedication to the program, The John Palmer Communication Award was established after he passed away in August 2013.

John Palmer was involved with television documentaries, commercial films and videos, special events, and speaking engagements for colleges and private organizations.

During his four decades in broadcast news, Palmer covered breaking stories throughout the world. As White House Correspondent for NBC News, he covered Presidents Bush, Clinton, Reagan and Carter. Palmer also served as news Anchor for the Today Show in New York for 7 years and later hosted a weekly series for the Discovery channel and anchored the Christian Science Monitor's daily national news broadcast, "World Monitor with John Palmer".

On the evening of April 25, 1980, broadcasting live from the north lawn of the White House, Palmer broke the first news reports of the aborted rescue attempt of American hostages in Iran. For breaking that story and his subsequent reporting, Palmer's colleagues in the White House press corps honored him with the Merriam Smith Award for Excellence in Presidential news coverage—the first broadcast news journalist to receive that coveted award.

On January 28, 1986, Palmer anchored the first hours of NBC's coverage of the Challenger Space Shuttle tragedy. In 1998, he wrote and anchored the highly acclaimed one-hour NBC News documentary, "The Pension Cookie Jar."

Prior to his White House assignment, Palmer was posted in Beirut, where he covered the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, the Arab oil embargo, the war in Cyprus and the civil war in Angola. His coverage of the fighting in Lebanon won him the National Headliners Award. Palmer was chief NBC News Correspondent in Paris from 1976 to 1979.

For his reporting on the famine in Africa, Palmer received the Overseas Press Club Award and a national Emmy. He also received am Emmy for his reporting on American's space program and in January of 1990 received the Distinguished Service in Broadcasting Award from the College of Journalism at the University of Georgia.

During the 1990 television season, Palmer anchored the daily nationally syndicated news program, "Instant Recall" which featured interviews with prominent people who played significant roles in major news events during the past three decades, including Presidents Carter, Reagan, Ford, Egyptian President Sadat, former Sec. of State Kissinger, scientist Jonas Salk, astronaut Alan Sheppard and test pilot Chuck Yeager.

Palmer began his broadcasting career in 1960 at WSB-TV in Atlanta. He joined NBC News in Chicago in 1962 and was subsequently based in New York, Tel Aviv, Beirut , Paris and Washington. Palmer is a native of Kingsport , Tennessee. He graduated from Northwestern University and received a master's degree from Columbia University. He has been awarded several honorary doctoral degrees.

Palmer was named "Father of the Year" in Communications by the National Father's Day Committee in 1987. (He says, if his kids could have voted, he never would have made it!) His wife and three daughters have their home in Washington, D.C.



M.A., Columbia University